Independent Voices: Alternative Press Coverage of the European Left

Alternative Press Center

In These Times is proud to partner with the Alternative Press Center, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing public awareness of alternative press, to present a monthly round-up of the best of independent media from around the globe. Across Europe, the social democratic project is collapsing. The neoliberal turn of the major Left parties has seen the widespread embrace of austerity measures on the continent. But this has also opened space for the expansion of a radical Left, a development largely unexplored in the mainstream media. Gathered below are some important articles on this trend. "Greece: Syriza Shines a Light" by Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper, July 2012) Having decisively entered parliamentary government with their second-place showing in the Greek elections, SYRIZA continues to organize at the grassroots level, addressing the felt needs of distressed Greeks who brought them into government. Hilary Wainwright traces SYRIZA’s roots to a new generation of socialist leadership that grew up outside of formal political parties. She notes that, now in government, SYRIZA has prioritized “spreading networks that in effect systematise the customs of informal mutual support that are deeply rooted in Greek society.” "The Second Coming of the Radical Left" by Alex Callinicos (International Socialism Summer 2012, No.135, pp 10-22) Alex Callinicos breaks down the European banking crisis, the responses of European Union actors to the crisis, and the popular challenge to austerity. He emphasizes the polarization at work among European citizens, many of whom are abandoning their support of parties of the middle that oversaw the crisis. But this does not necessarily mean a progressive turn: Parties of both the radical Left and the radical Right are gaining strength. "The Left's Moment in Greece" by Costas Lapavitsas (the Progressive, July 2012, v. 76 no. 7, pp 26-27) In this brief article, Costas Lapavitsas assesses the prospects for a broader anti-capitalist shift in Greece. He concludes with optimism about the potential for major change within the European Union, building on the success of the Greek Left. "Greece: New Government Reveals Anti-People, Racist Face" by Afrodity Giannakis (Green Left Weekly, August 18, 2012) Afrodity Giannakis describes the collusion of the new Greek government with continued austerity measures imposed by the European Union. In addition to continued cuts to public services and wages, the new government is targeting immigrants, providing a platform for the neo-Nazi propaganda of Golden Dawn.

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